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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Scripts  ›  Color of Crime Moderators: bert
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Don
Posted: April 8th, 2010, 9:13pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Color of Crime by Shelah Mincey - Short, Drama - Crime is colorbind. 11 pages - pdf, format


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harrietb
Posted: April 9th, 2010, 2:56am Report to Moderator
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Echoes of Crash, I guess.
The bit where Mom asks Taylor to hand over her bookbag seems contrived, and perhaps there is a better way for her to find the note. It's obviously necessary for Mom's subsequent racist rant but perhaps you could find ways to illustrate her racist viewpoint, maybe with some small thing. Perhaps while she's waiting in the car lot she might lock the door if a black student approaches.
The story was quite predictable. The minute Ronald approaches I could see he was the one to be wary of by the way he's described. You might want to make him seem above suspicion, a salt of the earth type, probably older, then it might seem more of a surprise.



There's no follow up to the medical phone call, so not sure the reason for this.
I'm also not sure what's supposed to happen at the end. Is Sarah actually going to accuse the wrong guy just to keep her racist view of the world intact? Did you want the reader to decide, or was there more to this?

I think I spotted an extra word in the opening couple of paragraphs where she pulls into the car park. Other than this, it was well written.

Best,

H


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Mr Mincey
Posted: April 11th, 2010, 8:16pm Report to Moderator
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Thank you H.. Crash never crossed my mind when I wrote it. I actually saw an actress and the story came to me.

I thank you for your input as I am looking for ways to make this short stronger and less predictable. I wrote the scene with Sarah on the phone to give a little backgound on her. As the story ends, I wanted to leave the audience in "limbo" if you will, but not make it seem so obvious.

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TheRichcraft
Posted: April 11th, 2010, 11:19pm Report to Moderator
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The ATM machine's camera would tell the authorities the truth even if Sarah lies.

I'd find it hard to believe that Sarah would lie though.  Even hard-core racists like my grandpa said that there were a few good ones around.
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dogglebe
Posted: April 12th, 2010, 2:22pm Report to Moderator
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The message in your script is about as subtle as a sledge hammer to the groin.  Sarah's character was way over the top.  She's a racist; we get it.  She hates black people.  She has Klan Banger tattooed on her ass.  Do something more with her.  I agree with Rich and Harriet about the ending.  I can't picture her hesitating in identifying the mugger to the cops.

That said, a couple of formatting problems that I want to bring up:

You only use (beat) to show a [pause before someone talks.  To show pause in the middle of dialog, use the elipsis... like that.

On page one, you wrote that Taylor notices Sarah in her latest model SUV.  This implies (atleast to me) that Sarah gets a new one each year.  The problem is that you're not showing this to us; you're telling.  You're supposed to describe things as they can be recorded by the camera.

Hope this helps.


Phil
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Mr Mincey
Posted: April 12th, 2010, 3:14pm Report to Moderator
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I did not bring her racism across the best way. After reading the comments, I will revamp her character more as well as the ending. I thank you for your input and pointing the formatting issue out to me Phil..
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Mr Mincey
Posted: April 12th, 2010, 5:21pm Report to Moderator
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Can someone please show me an example of "showing" versus " telling?" It seems to be my weakness and I want to conquer it.

Thank you
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dogglebe
Posted: April 12th, 2010, 5:33pm Report to Moderator
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Here's telling it:


Quoted Text
Taylor notices Sarah in her latest model SUV.


You told us that the SUV is brand new.  The camera can't film this description.


Here's showing it:


Quoted Text
Taylor runs up to the SUV.  The sales sticker is still in the window.

                     SARAH
   Wipe your feet!  I only picked it up
   an hour ago.  I don't want any dirt in it.


The camera can record the the sticker and Sarah's comment.

Hope this helps.


Phil
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Mr Mincey
Posted: April 12th, 2010, 5:44pm Report to Moderator
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Thank you so much Phil, I really appreciate it.
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jwent6688
Posted: April 12th, 2010, 7:54pm Report to Moderator
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Wherever I go, there Jwent.

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Dialogue seems a little unsophisticated for an 11 year old. They're usually becoming little shits at that point. I'd ripen her dialogue, not too many mommy's.

Note says “I LIKE YOU, DO YOU LIKE ME? CIRCLE YES
OR NO.” JACKSON

Jackson should remain in the quotes if it's part of the note.

Don't get why Sarah would immediately be suspicious of Jackson's color. Maybe if the name was Tyrone.

"Sarah walks up with Philip and holding Taylor’s hand."
That line just sounds awful. I'd reword.

Welp, this one wasn't for me. Sarah's an unlikeable racist. And the fact that she hesitated towards the end, we know where that's going.

Good luck to ya, hope this helps some.

James


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Mr Mincey
Posted: April 12th, 2010, 8:09pm Report to Moderator
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Thank you James for your honesty. It is greatly appreciated and I will make the corrections.. I understand that Sarah isn't likeable but that's what I wanted but I feel like there's room to make her not likeable in a different way and change the ending to be better.
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